Foodable's 2019 Predictions for the Restaurant Industry

Predictions are always a love-hate thing for me each year, it means I have to look deep into the industry and into my past 20+ years of reporting, indexing and analyzing with the leading foodservice operators in the world. Sometimes this analysis reveals the good times to come for the industry and sometimes it does not.

Last year, six out of eight of my predictions were right, most of which were easy to consider, but if you think about the timing in 2017 to detect these market shifts you have to be somewhat of a fortune teller and very lucky to get these right.

I was right on with plant-based menu items taking off, coffee trends ramping up infusions and even the beverage industry taking a hit in spirits, wine, and beer, the most troubling was the 8 percent overall drop in the industry prediction that turned out to be pretty accurate at 7.8 percent, according to our Foodable Labs data.  

2017 was not a great year for many, but the few emerging brands that excel did so in double-digit fashion.  

Unfortunately, I don't think this can continue. The bigger concern I have for 2019 is the overall health of our industry. Closings will continue like always but we will see some closures of brands we may have thought to be bulletproof just a few years ago.

Without further ado, let’s move on to my 2019 Predictions

Check the video above for more of my commentary on these predictions, but this will give a quick read on where I think the restaurant industry is going in 2019.

Plant-based is on a maverick of a wave that I don't see slowing down anytime soon, in fact, my recommendation to any protein producer is diversification and to double down on quality and animal welfare.

Facebook is in real trouble with the foodservice and foodie crowd with continued falling engagement levels to that of 2014. I don't see this turning around for the platform at all and the move to Instagram ads and destroying that platform may be their only hope before the feds scoop in with regulation.

I fear the ultimate breach will occur with foodservice, If I were Starbucks, I would Fort Knox that mobile app before we see a big hit on what could affect as many as 1 billion consumers. Big tech will continue to get pushback from consumers and though 2019 won't be the year for deregulation 2020 will be a campaign trail mantra for sure.

Airbnb, Amazon, and Uber will all reach a new level of innovation in food, and not in the ways you might think.

Amazon will take a new role as a ghost restaurant operator, Airbnb will take up restaurant reservations, and Uber will have to go head to head with the industry to win out in the delivery game

The emerging 150 brands will continue their trek on obliviating the competition. Watch out for a few of them that will dominate in the regional game like never before.

And unfortunately, the small craft beer makers will start to fall with a downturn in drinking trends and craft beer consumption falling. We will instead see a new landscape of how craft brewers will go to market, let the brew mergers begin.

Like every year, some of my predictions are outside the box and thinking in ways that others don't. What I have found is that if you follow consumer science, technology, and food you have some insights to a crossover matrix that starts to provide early indicators to trends that go unnoticed even in today's always on social media barrage of information.

If you're in the business, this will either be your best or worst year in the last decade. Think of it like this– to quote one of my favorite sayings by Louis Pasteur, “Chance favors the prepared mind” see ya on the backside.

Across Continents: Off-Premise Comparisons At Home and Abroad

Across Continents: Off-Premise Comparisons At Home and Abroad
  • The off-premise conundrum for operators is similar in the U.S. compared to the U.K. with 3rd-party marketplaces wining when it comes to your customer information.

  • How can operators take control back?

Whether you’re are in the UK or the US, technology is driving innovation.  But where are we all going and are these technological solutions helping our restaurant businesses? In off-premise, delivery services and 3rd-party marketplaces are the disruptors everyone is talking about, at least over the last five years. Restaurant operators think they have little choice except to jump on the delivery brandwagon or be left behind in its wake. On this episode of The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering show, Valerie, and Erle sit down with Peter Backman, a U.K.-based consultant who specializes in the eating out market overseas. Peter, Valerie, and Erle discuss how the 5 Pillars of Successful Takeout, Delivery & Catering can reposition brands across the world to take the wheel. This discussion includes the onslaught of independent, aggregated, and third-party delivery providers, and the new paradigm of off-premise operations in restaurants at home and abroad. 

Read More

Manny’s Steakhouse Amongst Top Ten Steakhouses in the World

Waitstaff at Manny's Steakhouse  | Facebook

Waitstaff at Manny's Steakhouse | Facebook

According to Men’s Journal, Minneapolis’ own Manny’s Steakhouse is one of the best steakhouses in the world.  In the magazine’s “10 Best Steakhouses in the World” list, Manny’s was included alongside some of the best classic steakhouses in the world, including restaurants in cities such as New York, London, Paris and Buenos Aires.

A hotspot for celebrities and athletes to frequent, Manny’s Steakhouse has been a staple of the Minneapolis dining scene for the last 26 years, serving up a number of rotating specials alongside a signature meat cart and a hefty 50 oz. bone in rib eye. 

Yet despite the acclaimed cuisine, locals attribute Manny’s success to the restaurant’s stellar customer service program.   “They really engage the guests and are part of the magic,” says general manager David Wilson.

Learn how Manny’s Steakhouse has remained one of the nation's best here.

Twin Cities’ Menus Ahead of Many National Food Trends

Minneapolis

Every year, industry experts predict the upcoming culinary trends expected to take off that year.  Yet in Minneapolis, many of these predicted national trends have caught on long ago and have become mainstays in the Twin Cities’ dining scene.

Beer cocktails suddenly becoming trendy?  In Minneapolis, they are a staple.  As many restaurants in the city are limited to only beer and wine licenses, beverage programs were forced to get creative and restaurants like Tongue in Cheek have long featured extensive list of micheladas and other beer inspired cocktails such as Pacifico beer spiked with a variety of flavors such as ginger and passion fruit.

While oysters are predicted to become the next big ingredient chefs will start experimenting with this year, Minneapolis has long recognized the delicacy’s merits.  The city hosts not one but two Oysterfest celebrations every fall and diners can find oysters served everywhere from fine dining restaurants to gastropubs and park concession stands.

What other culinary trends is Minneapolis ahead of?  Read More